We hold these things to be self evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among them being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That phrase has given comfort to this nation for over two hundred years and brings to mind an egalitarian society where freedom is celebrated. It is all so syrupy sweet however the modern singer Paul Simon, reminded us many years after the fact: “Don’t you know words sometimes have two meanings” The reality is, most words have a lot more than two meanings.
Returning to the words written in 1776, it seems as if everyone knew who their Creator was but not many were aware within each person’s mind a different Creator lived and that some persons had no Creator in their mind: most of them, fearing the wrath of the Christians, spoke to no one about their atheism. This same silence was enforced upon gay persons of either or ambiguous gender, and anyone who opposed the new order of things or questioned the morality of capitalism. The whole “freedom of speech” when written, was focused entirely on political speech, and only precluded the government from limiting speech.
The citizens however were not so constrained, having been entreated by their Creator to silence any of the “Devil’s words” and to murder anyone who disagreed with the church fathers as to what was a sin.; which seems to be an evolving concept as far as the church is concerned. Where as they used to kill fags for Jesus, they now marry Gay couples for money. The right to free speech and non discrimination by race religion and national origin were concepts to be legislated and added to the original constitution. These concepts were expanded to included all state governments and eventually businesses through the commerce clause of the Constitution.
Freedom of Speech also seems to be an evolving concept. When the patriots wrote the words guaranteeing free speech, they did not mean every one. Freedoms given in the constitution were reserved to men, and then only to white men. There was at the time a movement to limit freedom and the right to vote only to white male land owners. It was said that only land owners had anything invested into the future so they should be the only ones allowed to vote. They lost the issue, but not by much.
No one at that time even considered the idea that women had any freedom or the right to free speech. Everyone involved with the writing of the Constitution knew unquestionably, women were to keep silent in the church and the government. It would be over 100 years after the signing of our constitution before women would be allowed to vote. It would be another 100 years after that the gay community could speak out loud. Here in Oregon, women had to wait until 1974 until they were given freedom from their husbands.
Prior to the Oregon Revised Statutes it was perfectly legal for me to rape my wife, her complaints would not even get her sympathy. As her husband she was my property and the use of her body was my right. I was not allowed to beat her up or kill her, but I could violently claim my right.
Through the evolution of our thinking it is only now the great god of the merchants can be spoken about with anything other than reverence: Capitalism.
(The first thing the new government did was to found a national bank and issue fiat money, making them all instantly wealthy. I will save my “Capitalism is Immoral” rap for my next post.)
By way of disclosure I am and have been a socialist from the time I left grade school. In the late 1950s the country was caught in hysteria of a communist under every bush making the subject of socialism taboo and immoral in every way.
By the time I entered high school I could not admit to being a socialist as it was not allowed by the church or the state in spite of my constitutional right to free speech. I would be beaten up and maybe murdered for such a confession. The same was true for gay people of any persuasion at that time. Of course the women of that time were not allowed to say much of anything except “Yes Dear,”as it was socially acceptable to: “Slap the Bitch,” if she said anything a man disapproved of.
Of my socialism I will make two points. I am not a communist nor am I un-American. Communism has proved over and over again government is incapable of doing business effectively or efficiently. As an American I have the right to advocate any form of government I wish, as long as I do not advocate the violent over throw of our government. Be assured: I do not advocate violence in any form. More technically I am a Social Democrat; that is I believe we will as a nation and a world, eventually choose socialism by popular vote because it makes more sense.
A most basic principle of socialism was written into the Constitution by our forefathers being the first thing they wrote in that document: The Preamble:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty…”
Those are the functions of our government. It is within the legitimate power of the government to stop riots in our streets, in fact it is an obligation given to government by our founding fathers. At the same time is also the government’s responsibility to facilitate and protect the people when they peacefully protest the government for their grievances.
Fortunately I am a citizen of the State of Oregon. On six occasions I have openly smoked marijuana on the State Capitol Steps the first one in 1979 with over two thousand citizens smoking with me. On some of the occasions there was a small hand full of the faithful smoking with me.
The Oregon State police, the City of Salem police and the State Capitol police facilitated our demonstration and then watched as we made our statement. At no time did any of the police ever do anything to mute our voices at the capitol nor did they poke at us before, during or after the events for our political stance. That is how our government was designed to work.
Besides protecting our right to free speech, it is also the responsibility of our government to “Promote the General Welfare” of our nation.
The politicians in our government are obligated to raise and then maintain the minimum wage to a living wage as mandated by the Constitution of the United States of America, which they have all sworn to uphold.